by Neill Scott, LMSW-ACP, Clinical social Worker/Psychotherapist
The first thing to keep in mind for a Christian single person to achieve a
successful holiday season is to Stay involved. Avoid isolation and loneliness.
At this time of year, because there is such an overwhelming emphasis on family
togetherness, loneliness for Christian singles can get worse. Itıs like
singles donıt exist. They are invisible! Therefore, the Christian single must
take some action to not slip into loneliness. A good way to approach this is
to ask the Lord who you might be able to help to diminish their loneliness.
Saint Paul writes in Galatians 6: 7: "Whatever a man sows that shall he
also reap." In other words: whatever it is that you need, you will
receive by giving that thing you need to someone else. For instance, if you
need more money, you give money . If you need love, you give love. So if you
are lonely, see what you can do about helping someone else out of their
loneliness. Consider inviting friends over to your place. Is there someone in
your church that needs a visit or a phone call? We receive by giving.
If you are not in a relationship, but would like to be in one, then take
advantage of the many holiday church related events to fellowship and connect
with other single believers. Meeting that right person has everything to do
with being in a variety of satisfying relationships with a number of
interesting people. There is usually no such thing as a lonely, desperate
person finding that "right One." Finding the "right one"
has everything to do with being actively involved in life, a life guided by
The Master. It is wise to participate in as many church activities as you can.
Networking with other church members, especially married couples, can be a
good way to prospect for a mate. These folks sometimes like to be on the
lookout to matchmake singles in the congregation. It is usually a slow time
for Church activities between New Years and Valentines Day. So take advantage
of these opportunities now.
However, don't be too hard on your self if you are not into
participating right now. The most important thing is that you
strengthen your faith and stay connected while enjoying the holidays.
Attending Services and Close, fun time with a few good friends can be
sufficient. Nurturing yourself like this is also good progress toward meeting
and finding the special person that God has for you.
If you are in a relationship, be easy and forgiving with each other during
this joyous but stressful time of year. Remember you can not change the other
person. Only Jesus can do that. ( Matthew 7: 3: And why do you look at the
speck in your brotherıs eye, but do not consider the plank in your own
eye.") You can only decide to let God change you. So you, with The Lords
help, work on overcoming and modifying your own character defects.
Surprisingly, when you change and grow, it often has the effect of changing
the other person as well and the entire relationship gets better.
Donıt be sucked into family conflicts. Family squabbles can get worse at
this time of year because the holidays can put one into situations where you
are compelled to interact with family members even though you may not want to.
Unlike the rest of the year, it is not easy to gracefully avoid difficult
family members. One good way to stay out of trouble is to avoid getting drawn
into family triangles. This is where one family member in conflict with
another family member takes you aside and tries to get you to side with them
against another family member. Or they want you to talk for them with the
other family member on their behalf, instead of going straight to that person
themselves. As the scripture indicates we should first go directly and
confidentially to the person we have a grievance with: Matthew 18: 15 "If
a brother sins against you, go to him privately and confront him with his
fault." So it is best to politely decline becoming involved and step out
of the way so as not to block Godıs light from shinning on this dilemma.
If there is a lot of family dysfunction (in a polite and respectful manner)
keep family visits short. No more than three to six hours for in town visits.
and a three day limit on out of town visits. If you really feel pressured and
uncomfortable, consider staying in a motel during the visit with your own
transportation available. Rent a car if necessary. The scripture say
"Honor Thy Father and Mother." This does not mean that you must be
under their roof for extended periods of time if you feel unable to do so.
Relax and be as easy on yourself as possible. Keep in mind that during the
holidays as at all times, we are not in control of how things go. We have only
the illusion of control. God is always in control. We can only do the next
right thing. As the eleventh step of AA admonishes: " We sought through
prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, praying only
for knowledge of God's will for us and the power to carry it out."
Neill Scott, LMSW-ACP
Neill Scott is an experienced Licensed Master Social
Worker/Psychotherapist who works extensively with singles. He offers
his services to the Christian Community. He is a committed Christian and
an active member of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Houston, Texas. For
other articles and helpful information, please check out his web site